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tv   Hardball Weekend  MSNBC  May 14, 2011 5:00am-5:30am EDT

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scandal in vegas. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. in washington. leading off tonight, notes on a scandal. yesterday's headline on the john ensign sex scandal was the conclusion of the committee to break the law and more details come to light about possibly coercive behavior and the efforts of senator coburn of the religious c street house to negotiate a settlement. that's the polite word for it, between ensign and the husband.
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the unfolding ensign scandal is the top story tonight. plus, how's this for a presidential pickle? the guy the republicans want don't want the job. the mitch daniels-mitt romney dilemma. can either of them beat president obama? speaking of republican candidates, ron paul made it official today for the third time. he wants to be the gop nominee for president and defending the position on heroin use tonight. ron paul's son senator rand paul says if you believe in universal health care you must believe in slavery. finally, we'll talk to a member of congress who has seen the bin laden photos and says don't ever release them. that's fascinating with our friend bob brady. we believe with msnbc political analyst jon corn with us. and our guest is carn demertian. what happens in vegas means they're staying in vegas. this guy's out of the senate.
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let's talk about this. in human terms, explain the weird three-way or four-way relationship between a senator, staffer, and a staffer's wife. what happened? >> well, you are talking about starting off is you have two couples who are the best of friends and go through the worst of possible betrayals. you have the ensigns, a senator who is a son of a wealthy casino executive and his wife, and the hamptons, of lesser means, but they is say come along, come to las vegas, live our life with us. we will help you out. we'll pay for you to go on vacation with us, the kids to go to the same private school as our kids go to and then one day when the house is robbed, senator ensign has a great idea and says i insist for you to move in with me until you get back up on your feet, until everything's back in order again. and doesn't take very long after that before the affair between ensign and the best friend's wife starts. >> where's the illegality come into this? why is the senate ethics
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committee pushing this guy out of the senate and saying -- turning this over to the feds for prosecution? why do they get so tough on that guy? >> that's down the line because the affair is on and off again for months and then ensign decides he needs to get the hamptons out of his office. they're his employees. mrs. hampton works for his campaign staff. mr. hampton is kind of one of the two chiefs of staff in the senate office and to do they arrange to have -- pay them off basically. about $96,000. which it's -- he says is a gift. ensign says is a gift. >> now's the deal. you messed with my wife. you had sex with my wife even though you're my best friend and i work for you. if you give me the money, we're all cool? who said this was a good deal? who thought about this? >> there's more to this. >> david, help me. who put this deal together? >> but other than -- >> coburn did it? >> he was part of the ongoing conversation. part of the deal is, hey, we'll set you up as a lobbyist, mr. hampton, the aide. >> sell -- >> go to people we know and have
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them hire you and when people said, no, there was a great phrase they used in ensign's office. we're going to jack him up to high heaven if they cross us this way. they set hampton up. as a lobbyist, it doesn't go that well. making some money. >> selling out the public interest to cover up the puddle of mess? >> violating the law -- and when it falls apart, enter coburn. now doug hampton wants $8 million and he's trying to -- >> to shut up. >> has a lawyer. presumably. he's -- you know, he goes public after that very quickly and coburn is the go between hampton and john ensign's office on how much to -- >> is that illegal? >> well, you know, depends on what you think is happening. if he's trying to get someone to shut up about unethical behavior in the senator's office, that's not right. >> explain to this to me. you're explaining bondage. why would a guy first of all, why didn't the wife of hampton, the staffer, go right to her husband and say, this guy's
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predatory. this guy you work for. this has to stop. we move out tomorrow morning? >> what the report keeps saying is they believed so much and trusted ensign wouldn't try to hurt the family. >> don't get complicated here. when he's trying to have sex with her and she said no, no, no, and figured that wasn't going to work anymore, why didn't she tell her husband, this guy is after me? we have to get out of here? >> well, i mean -- >> why didn't they just get out of there? >> they didn't do it in many rounds and basically dependent on the ensigns. >> the people -- making federal salary. >> for his boss who's also -- yeah. >> did she think they were completely victimized? or is there some strange enabling going on here? >> the line between victim and villain is thin one in this one. >> why didn't she tell the husband this guy was after her? can you answer that question? you don't know the answer. >> it is -- >> it's a hard one. >> she says that she continually said no to him and stopped calling me. >> what did she tell her husband about that? >> he found out by accident. >> why didn't she tell him?
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>> there was a text message on the phone from ensign. he finds out, he ends up chasing -- >> no evidence that she ever told her husband -- >> no. >> well, we know that the families came together on several occasions and had chats. she didn't -- >> chris, this is -- >> which is why ensign is saying, no, i haven't done anything wrong on that front because it was consensual. >> you hear about the ambassadors bringing slaves into their houses from other countries that become legally basically dependent because they'll deport them or whatever. americans have a certain sense of independence don't they? >> she -- >> about bosses. >> she worried if she didn't do what the boss asked for both of them would lose the livelihood. that's what she's saying and you can judge to what degree that's a real fear but a definition of whether someone's working in a hostile workplace. >> let's look at ensign's good-bye speech.
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maybe this tells you something. let's listen to his farewell address. >> my caution to all of my colleagues is to surround yourself with people who will be honest with you about how you really are and what you are becoming. and then, make them promise to not hold back no matter how much you may try to prevent them from telling you the truth. i wish that i had done this sooner. but this is one of the hardest lessons that i have had to learn. >> so he's playing nancy reagan here. just say no. say no to me. >> it's ironic listening to that because it's clear in the report that the c street crowd he was talking to, the ones staging the intervention, they said after a while it was clear he was lying, not doing this in good faith and >> what? >> wasn't participating in the letters saying i'm sorry to everybody and not doing it in good faith where she -- >> where is she? >> watching -- >> but what he called for, he had.
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he had lots of people around him at the time saying, hey, stop this. write this letter. break it off now. again and again and again he lied to them. >> all right. there's too many people in the house with common sense and only a bang orders crap is just not acceptable. i don't like this kind of awful behavior by this guy and he's guilty as hell but the other people, i wonder. they're not going to walk into another situation like this the next time. this is bizarre stuff. living together, this communal stuff. they weren't ready for that stuff. thank you, david. thank you for the reporting. i think we have it here. thank you. coming up congressman ron paul of texas. a great guest coming up here. wait until you catch my -- what's wild here. we taped it a few minutes ago. i know it will be wild. he'll defend his position on heroin use. not his, other people's. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. ♪ [ lane ] here's the trouble with most anti-wrinkle creams.
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we're back. libertarian congressman ron paul of texas spent decades espousing his views and once again he'll do so on the national stage. this morning, today, he announced he's running for president for the third time. he joins us now from new hampshire. welcome, congressman. >> thank you, chris. >> well, ronald reagan ran three times. maybe this will be the one for you. but here, this is a sticking point about how far you go with your libertarianism, sir. here you were talking about heroin use last week on fox news. let's watch your question and answer to you. >> are you suggesting that heroin and prostitution are an exercise of liberty? >> well, you know, i probably never used those words. you put those words some place but yes. in essence, if i leave it to the
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states, it is going to be up to the states. up until this past century, you know, for over 100 years they were legal. you're inferring, you know what? if we legalize heroin tomorrow, everyone will use heroin. how many people would use heroin if it's legal? i bet nobody. i need the government to take care of me. i don't want to use heroin so i need these wars. >> well, your people out there in the crowd agree with that. let me ask you as a citizen of texas, if that came up for a vote, if you had to vote as a citizen supporting a candidate or whatever, do you think the state of texas should legalize heroin and prostitution? >> i think under the right circumstances we should legalize freedom and that is part of it as long as people don't force things on other people, i don't feel threatened by that. it's sort of like legalizing gambling. i don't gamble. i don't get involved but i'm not going to take that right away from you so all the things are things that you can do in a free society but today i gave a long
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talk about this very issue and i emphasized the fact that the reason i argued for freedom of choice is i want people to decide what medications they can take and whether they want alternative medicine, whether they can drink raw milk, use marijuana when they're sick and we shouldn't depend on the government for that guidance. if you need guidance with children, if a law is there to try to protect children, that's a different story. but it is the concept of legalizing freedom, making choices by individuals and assuming responsibility for themselves. and even though that was a special statement about how many people would do it if it's legalized, you know, most people aren't going to use heroin. more people use it because it's illegal. making it illegal doesn't help that much. kids can get marijuana easier than beer so beer can be regulated in a way to prevent the kids from getting it.
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most of the early history, there were no laws against this. >> i guess i have to get down to the question. you're saying -- i'm not sure what you're saying, if a mother has children, a husband, a father, should they be allowed to be heroin addicts? because this is how far you're going with your libertarianism it seems even now. >> the whole thing is addictions are a disease. we don't put alcoholics in prison. i'm against the war on drugs the way it's happening. there's other ways to handle it. if you treat it like a crime and throw the kids like we had for decades in prison because they smoked a little bit of marijuana and they come out violent criminals, that war on drugs has failed and believe me the people know that and so i'm against the federal war on drugs. i'm not pro-drug usage. i'm very critical of the carelessness of doctors giving way too many pain pills. more people addicted to prescription drugs than they are to illegal drugs. >> okay. just to finish this conversation
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on this point. you have complete freedom to answer this question, yes or no. should we legalize heroin? >> i want to legalize freedom and let the states deal with the regulations. >> let me ask you about how far you would go in terms of the constitution because i understand libertarianism, most of us very much were enraptured with it as kids, as teens, i think. >> why would you lose it? >> because the idea of total freedom doesn't seem to work. >> oh, total -- >> the '64 civil rights bill, do you think an employer running a shop in texas or anywhere has a right to say if you're black you don't come in my store? >> i believe -- >> that was the right -- that was the libertarian right before '64. >> i believe that property rights should be protected. your right to be on tv is protected by property rights because somebody owns that station. i can't walk into your station and right of freedom of speech is protected by property. the right of your church is
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protected by property. so people should honor and protect it. this gimmick, chris, it's off the wall saying i'm for property states and states rights so i'm a racist. >> no. i'm just asking you -- >> outlandish. wait, chris. wait, chris. people say that law was there and you could do that, who's going to do it? >> everybody was in the south. i saw the -- i saw the white only signs in the south in college. of course they did it. you remember them doing it. >> yeah, but i also know that the jim crowe laws were illegal and we got rid of them under the same law. and that's all good. >> you would have voted against that law. >> yeah, but not -- i wouldn't vote against getting rid of the jim crowe laws. >> honestly, congressman, you were not for the '64 civil rights bill. >> because of the property rights element, not because of got rid of -- >> right. a guy owns a bar, says no blacks, you say that's all right.
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what's the answer? what's your answer? >> segregation was created by government laws. slavery was created by government laws. segregation -- let me go. segregation in the military by government laws. what we want to do as libertarians is repeal all those laws and honor and respect people -- >> i'm not seeing this. >> for you to imply a property rights person is endorsing that stuff, you don't understand that there would be zero signs up today saying something like that. and if they did, they would be an idiot and out of business so i think you're just getting overboard in order to try to -- >> i'm asking it. >> -- to turn it around and accuse somebody of being a racist. >> i'm not calling anyone a racist. >> that's what you're implying. chris -- >> i was in the peace corpse in baker, louisiana. a laundromat with the sign whites only on the laundromat. just to use the machines.
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this was a local shop saying no blacks allowed. you say that should be legal. >> that's ancient history. that's over and done with. >> because it's been outlawed. >> segregation on buses and always done by law so it was a culture. that's over and done with. why do you want to go back to ancient days? >> because you want to come back. >> it's past. >> running for president. because you're running for president as a libertarian. we don't need laws to protect people. >> you are reading much more into it and trying to imply certain beliefs that i don't have. >> no! i think you're a total libertarian. i think you're a total libertarian and that's what's appealing about you. >> listen. >> they like you. they want to live in a simpler society. >> believing in liberty versus a totalitarian. if you want the opposite, look around. that's what we have. we have a totalitarian world and what most of history is about. totalitarianism, dictatorship. we have a small taste of freedom of choice and the principle of private property and contract
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rights and we're blowing it. so this whole thing that we're going to give up on that, what we're doing is trying to emphasize that something good and wonderful comes from freedom. >> okay. >> and freedom of choice and that we should not say this, that liberty is disgusting as you imply and totalitarian should be -- >> you're answering your own questions. we have had a long history of government involvement with medicare, social security, civil rights act, voting rights act and i think you are saying we would have been better off without all of that. >> i think we would be better with freedom, without government control of our lives, personal lives and policing the world. and running the economy. because we're facing -- >> that is part of life. >> chris, let me finish. we are facing a calamity of that. we have a financial crisis, a crisis in the foreign policy. losing hundreds of thousands of people coming back sick because of our foreign policy. >> okay. >> and we're at a point where we
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cannot sustain this and we're on the verge of run away inflation because there's too much acceptance of big government. that is the problem. no matter how noble you try to make it. your good intentions will not compensate for the mistakes that people make that want to run our lives and run the economy and reject the principle of private property and making up our own decisions for ourselves. >> thank you, congressman. i love your foreign policy. don't get me wrong. i love your foreign policy. thank you for -- >> you're coming along, chris. you're coming along. you will and put it altogether. it is all one package. personal liberty and foreign policy. >> okay, well you're -- >> it is one package. >> you have a great following. good luck in the campaigning. >> it is growing. >> i know it is growing and you may well win this thing. ronald reagan got it on the third try. thank you, congressman ron paul of texas. >> all right. >> that's what "hardball" is all
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about. that's what we do here. up next from ron paul to his son senator rand paul of kentucky, wait until you hear what he has to say. he says if you believe in universal health care, you believe in slavery. that twist of logic coming up in "the side show." you're watching "hardball."
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back to "hardball." now the side show. first up, what's the biggest problem at guantanamo bay? according to republican senator imoff it's obesity. here he is on fox today. >> should we allow gitmo detainees to get family visits? >> no, no, we shouldn't, brian. you know the biggest problem at gitmo is right now? >> what? >> it's obesity. they're eating better than ever
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before, better medical care, legal counsel. i mean, you know, you got to draw the line somewhere. let's draw it here. >> so what's he suggesting? no conjugal visits for terrorists? there's a political safe position. rand paul goes off the deep end. this is what the tea party candidate said you believe in universal health care, you believe in slavery, too. got to hear it to believe it. >> with regard to the idea of whether or not you have a right to a health care, you have to realize what that implies. it's not an abstraction. i'm a physician. that means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. it means that you believe in slavery. it means that you're going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office. the assistants in the office, the nurses. basically once you imply a belief in a right to someone's services you have a right to plumbing, you have a right to water, you have a right to food, you're basically saying that you believe in slavery. >> the problem with that connection, even if you believe it, there's a general right to
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health care in this country. you're not saying we require any individual doctor to come provide you with that service. it's interesting stuff, though. i know the philosophy behind the guy. that's "hardball" for now. up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. [ woman ] welcome back jogging stroller.
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